Two years ago I would not have thought it possible. A move after living for 38 years in one place? Probably not. Yet we aging boomers did it.
For seven years we had been driving on a regular basis to visit our daughter, her husband, and her kids — our grandchildren. More than 500 miles each way requires a lot of driving. And we were always so tired when we arrived home from a trip. Then when the pandemic hit, we realized that there were times when my daughter’s family could use some assistance that grandparents can provide.
My husband and I wondered if we should move to be closer to our family. We reasoned that we might actually be helpful to our daughter and son-in-law, and that, as we prepared for the move, we would get started with the downsizing (I will write about that in a later post) that people our age need to do.
Our first step, of course, was to ask our daughter and her husband what they thought of our idea? They approved.
Then we took a serious look at the area where they lived. Were there the classical music opportunities, concerts and other events that we so loved to attend? Was there a church that we liked? Would we be able to develop cohort of friends? Would we be able to build a life as rich as our current one formed over 38 years?
Every big event requires a dress rehearsal, so we decided to find a way to spend two full months in the geographical area where we might be living. We hoped to explore museums, classical music opportunities, hiking opportunities, and other activities. We wanted to discern whether we could build our own lives in addition to being near family.
Finding temporary lodging for two months was not easy. Short term apartments were almost impossible to find, but we did locate an Air BnB apartment — with a great host — where we could live for the entire time. So we scheduled our two-month dress rehearsal.
During our stay we grew to appreciate the change that might occur in our lives if we moved. It was such fun to explore a new area and meet new people. Due to covid, we weren’t able to attend any concerts, but we were able to discover the many classical music possibilities. We also made a fair number of new friends, found places to exercise, and enjoyed exploring the museums.We discovered an awesome walking path in a county park — the nicest one I’ve ever seen — and we walked there several times a week.
Most importantly we found Jane, an awesome real estate broker who drove us all over the area. Her guidance helped us learn a lot more about purchasing a home in various locations and, in the process, we discovered many places me might not have encountered on our own.
We also helped out a couple of times each week, taking a child to school or picking up in the afternoon. Occasionally we had a morning or afternoon of childcare. The extra time with our grandchildren was such fun and a blessing.
The dress rehearsal was a success. As difficult as it was to say good-bye to our old lives, the new possibilities were exciting to imagine.
So decided to move.
Pingback: Moving in Mid-retirement, Part II: The Challenging Decisions | As Our Parents Age So Do We